Way out in the middle of the Atlantic, something very special is happening in the world of wine. In the Azores — a group of nine volcanic islands belonging to Portugal — António Maçanita, Paulo Machado and Filipe Rocha, partners in the Azores Wine Company, are on a quest to save endangered local grape varieties.
Arinto dos Açores and Terrantez do Pico are wonderful varietals, which speak of their place with a sinew of saline minerality about them. Rooted into the volcanic soils, the vines are trained low, behind basalt dry-stone walls, which protect them from the strong sea winds.
While the world stayed at home during 2021, the trio built a beautiful winery and restaurant from basalt rock. The Brutalist design is the work of Portuguese architects SAMI and London-based DRDH, and it complements the dramatic landscape — and the vineyards, which have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site — wonderfully. José Diogo Costa and Angelina Pedra have been appointed to manage the kitchen, which produces four tasting menus comprising dishes inspired by the Atlantic and produce from the volcanic soil.